When we reviewed the Magical Butter Machine, I used it to make a batch of glycerin tincture, and then added, almost as a throwaway line, that “this needs just one more step to make e-cig juice”. I’m glad that so many people are careful readers, because a number of them have been noodging me to tell them how ever since. In any case, your patience has finally paid off, just please don’t hate me when you see how easy it is 🙂
Most available tinctures are alcohol-based. It’s generally not economical for commercial producers to make glycerin-based tincture, because glycerin doesn’t seem to be as good as dissolving cannabinoids as alcohol, so it takes far more cannabis to make the finished product strong enough for most people. But when you do it yourself, everything becomes much more affordable if it works.
As I related in the second half of the MBM product review, I had never been able to successfully make a good glycerin tincture before I got my Magical Butter Machine. But once I made two cups of the good stuff, the first thing I did after trying a few dropperfuls (whee!) was to see how it worked as e-cig juice (which was another thing I had been trying to work out). Because…
The vegetable glycerine (VG) you use to make glycerin tincture
is exactly the same stuff that’s mixed into e-juice!
So really all you have to do is add some PG (propylene glycol) to dilute it so it’s the correct viscosity, and you’re done. I poured a small amount of my finished tincture into a calibrated shot glass, then added PG using an oral syringe at about 1/3 (30%) on top of the original volume and mixed well. I was trying to get close to the viscosity (“runniness”) of e-juice while adding as little PG as possible, to keep it strong. Many people prefer to get big clouds of vapor, so feel free experiment with the amount of PG. VG creates the vapor itself, but PG lets it flow through the vape pen or ecig. A common ratio is 50% PG to 50% VG (the VG is your tincture).
Here’s the final result, loaded into a clearomizer, and it works quite well:
It does take a minimum of a full ounce of cannabis (in the original 2 cups of vegetable glycerine) to make this stuff work so well (not to mention the Magical Butter Machine itself
and some lecithin), so there’s a certain amount of expense involved. And it would take you a long time to go through 3 cups of e-juice! But by itself, glycerin-based tincture is great to have around for lots of other reasons:
- You can put a dropperful or two into your morning coffee or tea (it even acts as a sweetener!)
- You can put it into soft drinks.
- You can use it as a base for making medicated candy or other sweet treats.
- You can just put it under your tongue, where you will feel it almost as fast as smoking.
Just please be careful and don’t leave this or any dosed food or drinks where children, pets, or non-MMJ patients could get to it by mistake.
Please read this: as discussed in the comments, this will not make “one hit knockout/just like dabs” e-juice! E-juice in general is designed to be puffed on repeatedly, and this will work the same way. So please don’t expect a “one-hit wonder” like hash oil cartridges!
Important note! As one of the commenters reminded me, lecithin is considered safe for oral consumption only! So if your intent is to make e-juice, please do not add lecithin to the mix, because nobody knows if it’s safe to inhale. (BTW, we no longer recommend using lecithin at all because it may cause cardiac damage).
Another important safety tip: you (hopefully obviously) should never use Green Dragon or other alcohol-based tincture in any ecig or vape pen, because alcohol vapors could ignite and burn your lungs or trachea or other body parts.
Revision 1.1 / 30 May 2015 / details of PG VG proportion, GD warning
Revision 1.2 / 5 Sep 2015 / e-juice not supposed to be strong